Reposted from PCS website
All our HMRC members weere asked to take 1 day of action as part of a rolling programme to send a clear message to their employer against job cuts, office closures and privatisation. The walkouts coincide with 2 key dates in the tax calendar as 31 July is the deadline for tax credit renewal and is also the date by which self-employed people have to make their second tax payment, if they are paying in 2 installments.
The impact of the strike has been felt, forcing the department to extend the deadline for Tax Credit renewals by 6 days.
Members are angry at management’s clumsy attempts to blame the union for deteriorating industrial relations and service levels.
HMRC is in utter chaos because of the level of job cuts.
In Southend 85% of members are supporting the action and there were significant donations made to the hardship fund. Striking IT workers ensured some services are not available today.
There is a good turnout in Norwich and Wingfield House, Portsmouth and only about 25% of members went in to work at HMRC headquarters in Westminster. There is a strong turnout in St Austell, Cornwall, with 85% of members on strike, while in Swindon 70% of members are taking part.
There is also decent support in the north, noticably in Workington and Middlesbrough. At HMRC Newcastle Benton Park, 75% of members have walked out leaving the site pretty quiet, and there have been messages of solidarity from members in DWP, ARC and private contractors. More than 90% of staff in Stockton have stay away from work.
Hundreds of people stayed away from work at Castle House, Leeds, and also in Shipley and at the Interchange in Bradford.
Peter Middleman, PCS group secretary, said: “Members ought to be congratulated for taking a courageous stand this week in defending jobs and services, despite a great deal of hostility from the employer.
“HMRC’s failure to take the moral high ground in this debate has been surpassed only by the extent of their failure to undermine another solid strike. Tax Credit and self-assessment deadlines have slipped and reports we’ve received suggest that their attempts to provide any sort of service throughout the 3 days of action have fallen apart at the seams.
“The important thing now, is for them to recognise that we’re not going away and that the best interests of all concerned demand that meaningful, early talks are convened to allow for a serious effort to resolve this dispute.”
There has been lots of media interest throughout the action, with the latest coverage from: